'G.I. Joe' - It's Entertaining - Chiclit's Review

Honestly, this movie is entertaining. It keeps moving, you can follow the plot, figure out who the characters are - and lots of things blow up. I am not a real fan of the action genre, never have played with a G.I. Joe Action Figure, read a comic or watched a cartoon, but I found the movie provided decent entertainment. I have seen worse, that's for sure.

The plot follows the story of how the G.I. Joe team and its mortal enemies came to be who they are today (today being 'sometime in the near future'). The movie consists of flashbacks to character origin stories sandwiched in between the progression of the plot and spectacular special effects-driven battles. There are a couple of little twists that you will probably see coming, but they are not groaners. The battles break out about every fifteen minutes, and live action explosions and chases are mixed fairly seamlessly with CGI.

As for Christopher Eccleston, I thought he does a good job of pitching the tone of his performance to the script, the action and the other major actors. In other words, it is a pretty straight performance, slightly accelerated. He definitely worked his scenes, going through several ranges of emotions - which pretty much put him head and shoulders above most of the other actors.

He expresses genuine affection/concern for the Baroness - and sly corporate CEO sense of humor. Much like his work in 'Heroes', he basically owns every scene he is in, but I never thought he was over the top, or out of synch with the project in general. Indeed, I felt he had far more to do in the film than Dennis Quaid, and did more with his screen time than any of the other actors.

Eccleston appears at the beginning of the movie, then reappears regularly and is in a number of scenes - and because you want to know - his face is visible until the very end of the movie. He is well-coiffed and dressed nattily in a suit throughout. If you are fan, you will get your money's worth of Eccleston. I am not from the UK, or even Europe, much less Scotland, so his accent wasn't an issue for me, although apparently some reviewers have taken offense. In fairness it must be noted that Jonathan Pryce who was playing the President of the United States, appeared to have a bit of British accent, and I have seen very few comments on THAT.

The movie is loud and moves fast. Indeed the final battle was a little too fast for me. The CGI is generally pretty good, the 'accelerator suits' put into action on the streets of Paris seemed a little cheesy. Given the overall cool electric blues and oranges (I would describe it as kind of a neon theme) used in the palette for the film, I couldn't help wondering why they didn't set the scene at dusk or dawn or even at night, where the cheesiness of suits and their qualities would not have been as noticeable. I think the Eiffel Tower sequences would still have been just as powerful.

There is some mildly amusing dialogue and line delivery, but the movie is refreshingly free of insult or offensive humor, the diverse team never calls attention to nationality, gender or ethnic origin, there is no rah rah America jingoism. There are a couple of mild profanities and some violence, but I did see fairly young kids in the audience, and they did not seem out of place or traumatized. I am sure I missed some product placement - but the only blatant one I noticed was for Norton Anti Virus.

So, to summarize, 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra' is pretty good entertainment - if you like Christopher Eccleston, you will enjoy seeing him in something new, with some good screen time. It might not be his most challenging performance, or your favorite genre, but he acquits himself well in this endeavor, and I really don't think you will be disappointed. It is a movie based on a line of Action Figures, after all. And 'Amelia' comes out later this year.


This review is brought to you by:
2009-08-08

6 comments:

Hedgehog said...

Thanks for opening the review run, Chiclit!
Can't wait 'til Friday - thankfully there's a cinema in my city where movies are shown in English... (mine is the NO DUBBING policy! ;-)).
Reading some of the other reviews Alex linked to the other night I realized just how far off the usual track of CE-movies this one goes... I'll happily lower my standards this once and am tremendously looking forward to see a Gaelic-speaking fighter jet (I hope it gets some decent screen time!!).

Alex said...

I wouldn't say it's extremely off the track - he has previous. And as usually, as much as the circumstances allow, he's good.

Some great scenes, should be noted that the ending is a bit rough.

Hedgehog said...

Depends on which kind of categorization we're talking about... put it down to sleep-depravation (got about 10 hours over the last five days and am about to do a night shift - the world sure does look different in that kind of state ;-)), but I feel this goes beyond "Gone in 60 seconds" or "The Dark is Rising" in a way I can't yet verbalize. I'll get back on that next Saturday when I've actually seen it (and perhaps have finally gotten some sleep) - if of course we're just talking general "action movies" you're right, there've been others.

Alex said...

No need to explain yourself, it made sense. And there are various aspects too, perhaps it's worth a discussion topic after the film's premièred wider?

Thing is, though, that the impression I got from reviews had little to do with my own experience - and I've not even _properly_ seen it.
So, yeah, we'll meet in a week's time to compare notes =)

powerjen51 said...

If you like your movies; gun-ho, comic book violence, boys own adventures, kick ass attitude, escapism for nearly two hours with a bit of humour, then this movie is for you. Loud, abrasive and you don't have to think about the plot too much. However, if you like rom-coms, fluffy animals, etc then this movie isn't for you.

I lapped it up especially Christopher's Scottish brogue. You could tell that Christopher loved every minute of it and brushing aside his role as the #9 Doctor. His suits are sharp and so his dialogue. I won't give much of the plot away except that Christopher is dastardly in everyway possible.

I was one of five people for the 11.00 a.m. performance in a 300-seat auditorium today. And I sat in the very middle.

The only actor who I think was miscast is that of Jonathan Pryce as the President of the USA. Why I agree haven't more people complained about him over Christopher's Scottish brogue???

I really couldn't give a stuff about what some of the critics have said about it, I loved it. I give it 4/5.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 12 because some of the violence would be unnerving to some at the same time it's not too graphic to upset and the swearing is not offensive to me.

There are some clear references to other movies which I won't name but I could name check each and every one of them.

Product placement included; CISCO, Visa and Mastercard.

Ironically one of the trailers was advertising for recruits for the Royal Marines Commando Unit. Strange that!

I would see it again because it's pure escapism for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.

joanr16 said...

Generally not my type of film, so I was going to wait and see it on DVD. Then Chiclit mentioned Jonathan Pryce playing the American president, and I laughed so hard at that notion, I decided what the hell.

It's a bad sign when you walk out of the movie behind a half-dozen American males in their early 20s, and one of them proclaims, "That was really cheesy!" Still, I've sat through far worse movies, and I thought CE's performance was fun. I bought the accent; perhaps because, sometimes, actual Scots sound fake to my tin American ear. (And my mother's maiden name was Campbell. Pitiful, no?) Example: the first time I heard David Tennant speaking with his native Scots burr, I thought, "OMG, he's making fun of Scottish people!"

Anyway. It's really Amelia I'm waiting for, but still I had a fun two hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon.